Re-adjust curfew hours for boda bodas

Monday April 05 2021
letter01pix
By Guest Writer

Last year, a number of guidelines were issued by the government as a means of stopping the spread of Covid-19.

Among these was curfew. Although curfew has since been relaxed to 9pm for vehicles and 6pm for boda bodas, one cannot help but wonder how maintaining curfew at this point in time is helping to curb the spread of coronavirus.
 
Are we trying to say that during the day, before curfew hours when people move freely, many of them oblivious of measures such as social distancing, wearing face masks and washing of hands, they can’t contract the virus while if they did the same after curfew hours they would? Right now, curfew doesn’t seem to serve any real purpose in line with preventing the spread of the virus.

This then begs the question, why in the world do we still have it, especially for boda bodas?

I do not own a car, therefore my main means of transport to and from work is by taxi (matatu) and boda boda.

Sometimes, there is such a load at my workplace that I  can’t leave before 6pm so that I can be able to use a bodaboda  from my place of work to the nearest taxi stage.

This would mean  if I leave work at say 7pm, I have to walk to the stage because boda bodas are not supposed to be on the road by then.

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The distance between the work place and the taxi stage is a bit lengthy and the road is known for having pick pockets and all manner of criminals. So I either have to rebel and use a boda boda, even after curfew, spend the night at the work place or risk walking to the stage and  get mugged.
 
I tell you this so you can know how unfair this curfew, especially for  boda bodas, is. I am well aware that defiant boda bodas continue to work even after their 6pm curfew time but this comes with some risks.

Sometimes, they are grabbed ( and I say grabbed because that is exactly what happens) by police men and their motorcycles impounded. Many times in the process of being intercepted, customers are thrown to the ground in the middle of traffic and  accidents occur. So defying the curfew comes at a price too.

It is also between 6pm and 9pm that boda bodas are bound to make most money because there are many people in need of their services to get home. So, for their work to be capped at 6pm is unfair.

 Therefore, if this government really cares about it’s citizens, it should reconsider either extending the curfew hours, especially for boda boda or doing away with it completely.

Unless , of course, there’s another reason for the curfew which in that case we should be told about.

Tedro  Owange,
Kampala

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